A kitchen countertop is one of the most important and valuable aspects of your kitchen. It’s the central working space where you spend most of your time. It’s also where you prepare most of your meals.
So it’s only natural that you want your countertop to look great. If your countertops are looking a little tired, scraped-up, and stained, it’s time to get them looking brand new again.
You can remove kitchen countertops, which is excellent news because you don’t have to replace them. Whether you’re replacing an old countertop that’s in bad shape or just cleaning up an outdated look, this handy guide will show you how to remove a kitchen countertop.
Materials and Tools
You’ll need the right tools to get the job done right. You can purchase all of the materials you need at your local home improvement store.
- A bucket
- A plastic garbage bag
- A utility knife
- A putty knife
- A razor blade
- A hammer
- A pry bar
- A flat piece of wood
- A screwdriver
- A chalk line
- A damp rag
- Bits of broken tile or stone
- A scrub brush
Cut the Silicone Adhesive
The first thing you’ll want to do is cut the silicone adhesive holding your old countertop in place. You can do this by either carefully prying off the old countertop with a pry bar or getting a plastic bag and cutting a piece of it away from the rest.
Then, place the pry bar under the countertop’s edge, grasp the bar with both hands, and lift it on the countertop until it comes off.
Once the old countertop is off, you can easily peel away the remaining silicone adhesive and take any old cabinets.
Remove the Backsplash
Once the silicone adhesive and old countertop are out of the way, you can start removing your backsplash. Your backsplash is the decorative wall tile that runs behind your kitchen countertop.
To remove it, grasp a corner of the tile and pull it up. Then, use a pry bar to remove any remaining grout. Once the grout is out, use the pry bar to loosen the tile from the wall. Then, use a hammer and pry bar to dislodge any remaining tile.
Remove the Countertop Screws
Pull off any remaining countertop from the walls with a pry bar. Then, carefully remove the countertop screws that are holding it in place.
TIP: It’s not necessary to remove all of the screws. Just the ones that hold your dishwasher or refrigerator to the wall above and below are needed.
In addition, you can make putting your refurbished countertops on a new kitchen cabinet much easier if you remove a single screw at a time to tighten them down with the remaining ones.
Break the Silicone Adhesive Bond
Most of your new countertops are likely to come with small strips of blue or green plastic underneath, which are placed on the countertop to help silicone adhesive bond the ceramic slabs together.
You can remove these strips by squeezing the ribbon in a piece of damp cloth for about 15 seconds and then putting it inside a plastic bag. Let it sit for an hour before disposing of it – you don’t want to use any glue from this section on your new countertop set.
Find a Counter Subject
You’ll also want to find any pieces of broken tile underneath your counters so that you can cut some specific tiles for the backsplash area.
After getting rid of most grout layers, you can go back with a hammer and pry bar to dislodge more slates from their former position above them. This will give you enough room beneath your countertops to hold your replacement slate tile when applying it to the wall.
When using broken tiles, be aware that they can often chip if they’re reusable. These pieces usually help add border tiles easier after you have them reapplied right where they used to stand because there’s no need for molding around the edges.
Remove the Countertop
After breaking the silicon adhesive bond, you can take the countertop that you don’t need with you and move the others, then remove them from the walls.
Slowly pull them out and make sure that you’ve moved them in a way that won’t make any of your plumbing pipes or other ductwork (like vents) hit your new countertops.
Remove the Plywood Sub-Top
Since you don’t need the plywood and want to get rid of it, you should start by prying off the plywood so that you can then set your tiles on top without gluing them in place. Often they can be removed simply by pulling up on them – they’ll always come off of their own volition rather than shocking a person with a well-placed sledgehammer.
Plumbing: Find Your Leaks
Don’t stop here.
Right after tiling your backsplash area, whether directly above your countertop or as part of one from an adjacent wall, you should start plumbing out all the holes in your counters and sinks.
When everything dries and thins out later in its life, there won’t be any leaks behind it for any drops of water to seep into (from anything running above or underneath). With some time jobs like these, you should also check where grout dust might have gathered nearby or under the countertops or tile joints.
Any grout dust spilled accidentally from this layer will cause these spots to stain easily.
Wipe up all of them.
Your kitchen countertops are now clean and ready for a fresh coat of paint. Before starting, remove all traces of the old grout and any old countertop.
Then, cover those old countertops in the fresh, new paint! Your kitchen will be ready for action in no time.
If you’re looking to update your kitchen with a new countertop, you can’t go wrong with a concrete one.
They’re easy to clean, stain-resistant, and very durable. With elbow grease and patience, your old scratched-up and stained kitchen countertops are ready for a makeover!